Summary: What do people stand to loose when Jesus returns to the Earth.
Intro: Most people consider what they will lose if they become a Christian. Some think they will loose freedom, friends, and fun. How many of you have ever considered what you stand to loose if your left behind when Jesus returns to earth?
There is some disagreement between bible teachers, preachers, and scholars in this passage. Some would say that this passage has nothing to do with the catching away, or rapture of the church. It rather has to do with the coming of the roman legion. They describe it this way. Jesus does not come to snatch away His Church, he is instead describing the coming roman legion that will take away the Jews. According to them the ones left are better than the ones taken. Let me challenge them today and lay the ground work for what you loose when your left behind.
17.28-30 reminds us of the days of lot. What we see is that man is completely comfortable, but also immensely ignorant of the coming judgment of God! Jesus says remember lot when judgment came on Sodom and Gomorah it rained fire and destroyed them all. If you have ever heard the story we also know that Lots wife looked back and was judged by becoming a pillar of salt.
In this context we see the coming of the Son of Man, a messianic title for the Lord Jesus. So in light of lots wife those that are left are not better off. Those that are left are left for judgment, Gods justice and His wrath.
Jesus is warning the people do not be caught by surprise. Why? What purpose do we find in giving such a warning? Those that have not accepted Jesus Christ when He returns in the clouds as he left in Acts 1 will suffer the greatest loss of all.
What do you stand to loose if you are left behind?
I would bring to your attention 3 very important things you loose if you are left when Jesus takes His saints. The presence of God, The promises of God, the people of God.
I. The presence of God.
If we are to talk about being left or taken and the presence of God we cannot forget heaven.
A) A place of comfort
John was so overcome by the grandeur of heaven that in this verse he best described as a place of contrast, a place of no more.
Finally the results of sin have been removed. The emotional pain and suffering are gone. The aches and agony of life have been removed and in their place the comfort of Christ. The pain of broken families gone, the pain of broken trust, no more pain from cancer, no more pain from arthritis, no more pain from wayward children.
B) A place of cheer
“no longer any mourning or crying.”
There are many Christians today that seem to have lost their joy, their cheer.
But the bible is clear that our choice is to rejoice.
John 15.11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
Philippians 4.4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.”
With what we have in Christ and what has been prepared for us in Christ why is it as someone once said, “Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian.”
So If you are left you miss the place of comfort, the place of cheer and the place with Christ!!
C) A place with Christ
The most important thing about heaven is that God dwells there with His people!! (Rev 21.3)
If your living like the devil now, why on earth do you think you will go to a place that is saturated with Jesus’ presence?
Heaven is heaven because God is there. It is a place of comfort, and cheer because Christ is ever present.
What are you missing if you are left, your missing the most important thing the presence of God!!
II. The promises of God.
A) Rest – well done good and faithful servant enter into my rest.
The rest of salvation: No longer trying to make it to God! You and I can’t make it to God, thank goodness he made it to us in Jesus Christ. We don’t have to fulfill and laws or 5 pillars, or trip to some foreign land. We don’t have to ride a bicycle at a certain age in our life, we don’t have to visit so many people. We simply trust in what Jesus Christ did and from that springs the well of life which is called good works. We are sometimes weary or tired in His service, but I never get tired of it.
The rest of glorification: When Jesus comes back and we are changed in the twinkling of an eye that is what the Bible means about glorification. We will be made like Jesus!!